The English language is not the most widely spoken but certainly the most widely used language in the world. It is spoken as a first language in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and a number of Carribean nations. English is also widely learned all over the world and it has become the world's unofficial international language, as well as the language of science, computing, aviation and tourism.
The history of the English language started with the arrival of the three Germanic tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. The Angles came from “Englaland” and their language was called “Englisc”. It can be defined as the primitive stage of the English of today. The vocabulary was strongly influenced by Latin. This language, which we can define as Old English, underwent many trasformations in about 700 years.
The Norman conquest brought a new language, French, which had an immediate impact on Old English. But French was the language spoken essentially by the court and aristocracy. In the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again. It was no longer a purely Anglo- Saxon language, but rather a combination of the Norman and old Anglo- Saxon languages. It is generally considered the beginning of Modern English.
Modern English is the language spoken from mid-late 16th century. In the course of the following centuries, many new words entered the language and let to what is now called “Modern English”.